?Mr. Benson, a 62 year old male who suffered from poor circulation caused by diabetes underwent surgery for below the knee amputation. When he woke up from surgery he realized they amputated the wrong leg. Undergoing surgery is traumatic enough, but having the wrong limb removed is a mistake that has irreversible effects. Negligence and malpractice will be discussed, followed by the importance of documentation. Within the context of medical cases, the terms negligence, gross negligence, and malpractice are used to describe a case. It is important to know the difference between these terms since they are easily confused. Medical negligence is an act or failure to act by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. Medical negligence does not always result in injury to the patient. Gross negligence is a more serious form of negligence that can be describes as simply carelessness. Regular negligence is seen as a person or company falling below an expected standard of care, gross negligence is seen as a complete failure to show care or willful disregard for safety and human life. Medical negligence becomes medical malpractice when the doctor’s negligent treatment causes undue injury to the patient, makes the patient’s condition worse, causes unreasonable and unexpected complications, or necessitates additional medical treatment (Goguen, 2013). Best standard of care indicate that before an operation, the surgical team must complete a time-out form that includes marking the patients skin clearly to demonstrate where the surgery is to be performed. This area must be confirmed with the team, patient or family member. Failure to complete the form can result in medical negligence.
It’s possible that in Mr. Benson’s case the staff did not mark the correct limb, there could have been conflicting information in the chart, or the right limb may have been marked correct but the surgeon did not pay close attention. In nursing practice, there should be no room for errors. Everything must be documented in order to provide the necessary treatment and care for a patients. It is imperative that nurses document accurate details of an assessment, and treatment plan. The information documented will help in the case of malpractice lawsuits. Properly documenting is essential to provide evidence that the care that was provided met professional standards. The basic ethical principle that would guide me in this case is nonmaleficence. This is defined as avoiding deliberate harm, and risk of harm that occurs during the performance of nursing action. Determining whether the use of technological advances provides benefits to the patient (“Ethical Principles”, 2011). Mr. Benson’s case is not described in detail. It is safe to say that the surgeon and staff present had a legal duty to the patient which is to provide safe patient care. There was a breach of legal duty owed. The element of foreseeability was not regarded when the duty owed to the patient was breached by not following policy causing the wrong leg to be amputated (Williams, 2010). Surgery is a stressful event, many things can go wrong. A patient depends and trust the medical staff to deliver good care. Mr. Benson expected a good recovery only to find out that the wrong leg was amputated. Documentation will provide the evidence needed in court to prove his case. It is essential to document as accurately as possible. Unfortunately this was a case of medical malpractice. Mr. Benson’s leg cannot be replaced and will face a lifetime of pain and suffering.